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Cantor’s Corner: Lead and Asbestos Testing

Cantor’s Corner: Lead and Asbestos Testing

Lead and asbestos were used in many building materials like drywall, plaster, roofing, flooring and paint before 1978. If your home was built or remodeled before then, it’s likely that your home contains these materials. Disturbing lead or asbestos laden walls, ceilings or flooring causes particles to become airborne, which can be harmful if ingested or inhaled, especially to small children.

Lead and Asbestos Testing

When remodeling a home, California state law requires lead and asbestos testing by an independent lab prior to completing any demolition. A trained and licensed hygienist will gather the necessary samples, test them in a lab and provide reporting. If the levels of hazardous material are determined to be over the legal limit, a licensed remediation contractor must be hired for removal and disposal.

The proper protocol is as follows:

  1. Prior to commencement of demolition, the licensed hygienist visits your home to take samples.
  2. Samples are analyzed in an independent lab and reporting is provided.
  3. If the results are under the legal limit, you can proceed with commencement of demolition and your remodeling project.
  4. If the results are over the limit, a licensed remediation contractor must handle removal and disposal of the materials.
  5. The asbestos abatement contractor is required to provide the chain of custody for the materials removed, monitor the air quality and give written clearance before the project can proceed.

Improper removal and/or disposal not only is unsafe for you and your family, but there are strict fines enforced for each offense.

For more information, contact the San Diego Developmental Services Department.


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